Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences


Master Digital Design

The Master’s programme in Digital Design is a full-time, one-year curriculum. It seeks to educate professionals who create, adapt and apply design processes into interactive digital products, while driven by an ethical perspective on people, profit and planet.

The programme centres around four main areas of expertise: Literacy, Research, Creation and Strategy. It also involves three projects, as well as a closing exhibition. In addition, the programme often invites established names of the design world for lectures and workshops and organises after-school events such as meetups.

Courses, projects and events partially overlap during the academic year, enabling students to establish their own connections between topics and to apply their competences in a studio setting.

Each area of expertise is linked to a track, attendance to all of which is compulsory.

The Literacy track focuses on methodologies for understanding, communicating, and critiquing a variety of design solutions, their uses and their socio-economical contexts. Its foundational course is Design Thinking. Intensive workshops will touch on topics such as Interaction Design, Experience Design and Interactive Storytelling, and other workshops may be organized to follow on from students’ needs and requests. 

The Research track focuses on users and their needs, experiences, habits, and desires. It synthesizes models, best practices, and general ‘Design Knowledge’. Its foundational course is Design Research. Intensive workshops will touch on topics such as User Research and Field Research, and other workshops may be organized to follow on from students’ needs and requests.

The Creation track deals with prototyping, making and crafting digital artefacts, as well as programming how they interact with users, society and other objects. Its foundational course is Interaction Engineering. Intensive workshops will touch on specific techniques. 

The Strategy track examines the ‘social life’ of design artefacts, their relation to the market and consumers, as well as their impact on future scenarios. Its foundational course is Design Ethics. Intensive workshops will touch on topics such as Business Modelling, Digital Disruption, and Future Service Design, and other workshops may be organized to follow on from students’ needs and requests.

The Project track deals with practical real-world assignments co-created with a network of industry partners. This track constitutes the backbone of the programme, and connects all the previous ones. The three projects are fast-paced, interactive design challenges of 6, 12 and 20 weeks respectively. They differ in duration, complexity and coaching intensity, as well as in the number of stakeholders involved. Project briefs reflect societal challenges, which the students will work on under the supervision of the ‘client’ (project partner). Students also benefit from regular feedback and coaching by our Knowledge Partners – professionals from leading Dutch design agencies who advise the students on their work and approach.

Students are evaluated in two summative assessments (midterm and end), for 30 ECTs each. The two summative assessments consider all the tracks of the programme, with deliverables and indicators specified in the Study Guide. Other formative assessments are provided by each lecturer through feedback given throughout the tracks. Refer to the course catalogue for detailed information.


Check out one of the projects from the academic year 2018-2019.

Published by  Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries 26 September 2019